China’s central bank is creating a new clearinghouse for online transactions, a key step toward closer oversight of the country’s third-party payment market, currently more than 24.2 trillion yuan (US$ 3.63 trillion). About 200 third-party payment firms – led by Alibaba Group-affiliated Alipay and Tencent Holding’s Tenpay – have provided the backbone of China’s dynamic online retail and financial market. But they’ve also been accused of sidestepping necessary regulatory supervision. The market has been expecting major infrastructure changes since late July, when the People’s Bank of China approved a plan to create a new platform to clear all transactions from online payment gateways using standard protocols and rules. Caixin reports that the Payment & Clearing Association of China (PCAC) is leading efforts to develop the clearinghouse and will also be an investor.